7 Hidden Google Drive Features Teachers Should Know about

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In today's post I am sharing with you this collection of Google Drive tips to help you make the best of Google Drive in your instruction. These are less visible yet powerful features that can optimize your Google Drive experience and enhance your overall productivity. More specifically, you will get to learn how to restore deleted files, how to organize folders using colour tags, how to create shortcuts for files and folders, how to save web content to Google Drive, and how to edit Office files in Google Drive. For more tips and resources you can always refer to Google Drive Help. 

This post is part of a series of posts covering Google tools in education. We have already reviewed Google Meet, Docs, and Classroom.

1- Restore deleted files
You can only restore files that have been moved to the trash less than 30 days. Drive permanently deletes files after the 30-day time frame. To restore files you deleted:

2- Create a shortcut for a file or folder
The shortcut feature makes it easy for you to organize and find files and folders in numerous Google Drives."A shortcut is a link that references another file or folder". Here is how to create a shortcut:
  • "On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  • Right-click the file or folder you want to make a shortcut for.
  • Click Add shortcut to Drive.
  • Choose where you want the shortcut to be.
  • Click Add shortcut."
3- Organize folders by colour
This organizational features allows you to change the colour of folders in your Drive. Here is how to do it:
  • "On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  • Right-click the folder you want to change.
  • Click Change color and choose the color you want."
4- Save web content to Google Drive
Save to Google Drive extension lets you save content from the web right to your Google Drive account. Before you save content make sure you do not violate any copyright laws of the owner of the content. Here is how to use the extension:
  • Install the extension from Chrome web store
  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Access the webpage whose content you want to save.
  • Right-click on the item to save and click 'Save [item]to Google Drive.'
  • To save the webpage click on the Drive icon in the top right.
5- Use Google Drive files offline
To be able to access your Google Drive files without Internet connection you need to use Chrome browser and install the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension. Here is how to open Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline:
  • Open Chrome and sign in to your Chrome account
  • Go to "drive.google.com/drive/settings.
  • Check the box next to "Create, open, and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline." 
To save Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for offline use:
  • "On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  • Right click the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file you want to save offline.
  • Turn on "Available offline."
6- Create a map in Google Drive
Here is how to create a map in your Google Drive:
  • Log in to your Google Drive account
  • Click New- More- Google My Maps.
7- View and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in Google Drive
There are two ways to work on Office files in Google Drive. You can either directly edit them in Google Drive by double-clicking on them (password protected files are not supported) or you can use Office Compatibility Mode (OCM) which lets you "open and edit Office files in Drive, the Docs, Sheets, and Slides homescreens & apps, and Gmail." OCM works only on Chrome browser on your computer. Here is how to use OCM with Docs, Sheets, and Slides:
  • "Open a Chrome browser window.
  • Install the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides Chrome extension.
  • Open any Office file and start editing."